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Nutty, crunchy chicken with a sweet and tangy sauce, it’s easy to impress with this Almond Crusted Chicken with Cherry Balsamic Sauce.
I am always trying to come up with gluten-free ways to “crunchify” my chicken that don’t require buying special ingredients, like gluten-free bread crumbs. So I thought that almonds would make a great chicken coating. Then I saw this Apricot-Balsamic Chicken from Recipe Girl. The sauce sounded really good, and I know cherries pair well with balsamic vinegar, so I figured I could just use cherry preserves in place of the apricot. Her recipe called for a simple sautéed chicken breast, but I thought that using the sauce with an almond-crusted chicken breast would bring in some additional elements of texture and flavor.
Now you know I am a total fan of sweet and savory, so this was a perfect combination for me. Then you had the sharpness of the vinegar, and the crunch of the chicken. Rich without being unhealthy. Total contrast, and yet balance. Served with some simple steamed broccoli (which I dipped in more of the sauce) and brown rice, and you have a fairly simple dinner that is full of flavor.
Almond Crusted Chicken with Cherry Balsamic Sauce
For the chicken:
- 1 lb thinly sliced chicken breasts or chicken breasts pounded thin
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 1/4 cup sliced almonds
For the sauce:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup cherry preserves
- 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
For the chicken:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil or cooking spray.
- Combine the Greek yogurt, salt, and pepper in a bowl or plastic bag.
- Add the chicken, and mix to completely coat each piece.
- Place the almond in a shallow dish.
- Dip the coated chicken into the almonds to cover on both sides, and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. While the chicken is baking, prepare the sauce. Spoon the sauce over the chicken to serve.
For the sauce:
- While the chicken is cooking, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add onion, and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Add the salt, pepper, and thyme, and saute for another minute or two.
- Add the preserves and vinegar, and stir until the preserves melt and the sauce is thickened,, about 5 minutes.
‘); // ]]> This recipe was shared with: Amee’s Savory Dish Fit and Fabulous Fridays #37
I would really love a bite of that right now!! I love the almond/chicken combo!
It really was so good. I am looking forward to making it again!
Made this tonight for dinner. We loved it. Thanks for the great idea!!
Oh, you have no idea how happy that makes me!
Hi Brianne! This looks incredibly delish! I was also dropping by to tell you that I’ve nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award … http://nutrisavvysblog.wordpress.com/2012/06/26/the-versatile-
Thank you! You are too sweet!
you’re welcome. : )
This looks like a great recipe! I will give it a try! Thanks for posting!
Thanks! Hope you like it!
Love this! I’ve never thought to pair cherries with chicken. What a creative idea! I love it! Now I’ll have to give this a try.
Thanks Kate! I am such a sweets person that I am always pairing sweet with savory.
I love that you went savory on this! I’m going to have to try it!!!
Thanks! Only a few of us went the savory direction., so I am glad I did.
Too funny how you and I both went with chicken, but in opposite ways. I coated mine in cherries and topped it with almonds and you coated yours in almonds and topped it with cherries! Love it! Definitely going to try that almond coating sometime. Looks delicious.
I haven’t checked out all of the Improv recipes, but I will have to check yours out. That sounds awesome!
I’ll bet that cherry/balsamic sauce would be great on lots of things! I like your savory idea for this challenge…great choice!
I know, I have to come up with some other ways to try it. I’d love to change up the preserves, too.
Oh, that looks delicious! Unfortunately, I’m the only one in my family who will eat fruit with meat — everyone else thinks it’s weird 🙁 No duck l’orange. No roast pork with apples. No brisket with apricots and prunes.
I made a savory recipe, too. #19 “Cherry Almond Chicken Salad,” if you want to take a look.
Luckily my hubby is OK with fruit in savory dishes, because I love it!
Now this looks like a great meal! I will have to make this soon! Please come check me out! #38!
I will! Thanks for stopping by.
Kudos to you Brianne for making the most savory dish with the challenge ingredients! I love mixing fruit with chicken or pork and this looks just fabulous! That crunchy almond chicken looks amazing!
Thanks! I love adding fruit to pretty much anything. I make tons of salads with fruit.
Love your Improv Challenge recipe Brianne! It’s so easy to make a dessert with cherries and almonds as the main ingredients. Yours is quite unique, yet looks just as delicious!
I find the sauce especially interesting. I’ve yet to try a fruit and balsamic sauce, though I hear they’re very tasty. I’m bookmarking your recipe to try at some point!
Thanks. Yes, you should try fruit and balsamic. One of my favortie lunches is a green salad with strawberries, feta, balsamic & olive oil.
Think you nailed it! Saw your recipe link up on the Challenge and thought “not a dessert, gotta check this one out”. Sounds super yummy – especially the salad. Pinning.
Thanks! Yes, the re-purposed leftovers were great. I almost wish I had a picture, but lunchtime can be kind of hectic with the little guy.
hmmmmmmmmm! I was wondering about trying to make something-cherry-balsamic…
Now I don’t have to experiment — your sauce looks quite tasty. Thanks for the recipe!
Give it a try. It really is a good combo. Balsamic works with so many fruits.
Oh, I LOVE your savory take on this challenge! Your chicken looks delish!
Thanks. So happy I went the savory route, based on the feedback.
This looks wonderful. I am totally going to do almond cruch on my chicken sometime this week.
Give it a try! It ads such great flavor and crunch.
Wowza! That looks like wonderful chicken. I LOVE that you went savory with this month’s challenge.
Thanks! That is one thing I love about the Improv. You can really take it any direction you choose.
This looks delicious!! What a great recipe. I eat chicken at least 5 days a week, so I am always looking for different ways to try it. Your recipe is on my “must try ” list. Thanks.
Oh good! I hope you like it. It is always good to have a new chicken recipe.
My mouth is watering. I love the savory route you took for this challenge!
Thanks! It was fun trying to think of something a little different.
This is a wonderful idea. I use nuts with chicken, all the time but not with cherries.
You should try the cherry sauce. Cherries and almonds go so well together in general, so it really works here.
Nice call on the savory dish – looks amazing!
Thanks! I really wanted to go outside of the box.